News Release

President Duterte: ASEAN must stand with Myanmar in its quest for stability

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his remarks at the virtual 38th and 39th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits hosted by Brunei Darussalam at the Malacañang Palace on October 26, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday called on the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to stand with Myanmar in resolving its domestic issues while prioritizing the welfare of its people.

Speaking via video conference during the 39th ASEAN Summit, President Duterte urged all parties in Myanmar to heed the ASEAN’s plea for peace.

“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with ASEAN. We are, after all, an ASEAN family. And if we cannot trust each other and work together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he said.

“We stress that ASEAN’s Special Envoy must be able to visit Myanmar soon and meet all the parties involved,” he added.

All sides should be heard in order for the ASEAN community to be able to “effectively assist Myanmar in pursuing enduring peace and stability,” President Duterte said, noting history has shown that taking the consultative approach paves the way for democratization.

According to the President, the ASEAN should collectively address the Myanmar issue “as a responsible community”.

“The lack of progress in Myanmar has put ASEAN’s credibility into question. How we respond collectively will either affirm ASEAN’s relevance or reveal our impotence,” said the Filipino leader.

Expressing his concern, the Philippine president said Myanmar’s rejection of ASEAN’s sincere offers of assistance may undermine the mutual trust and confidence that ASEAN-member states share, as well as that of key external partners and other international organizations.

At the same time, the President encouraged stakeholders to continue providing humanitarian assistance to all who are in need, especially Rohingya and citizens of Myanmar who seek refuge.

The Philippines, he said, will commit to help individuals caught up in “situations beyond their control”.

“Our doors are open to our Rohingya brothers and sisters and other peoples of Myanmar who seek refuge,” he added. PND